March 31, 2009

NOT A PARLIAMENT:

Ben Nelson: a help or a hurdle? (LISA LERER, 3/30/09, Politico)

For organized labor, the most powerful politician in America right now isn’t President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Instead, it might just be the man in the middle: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

In a Senate where Democrats are just two votes shy of a filibuster-proof margin, the support of the party’s most conservative senator can pave the way to legislative success — or a long, slow legislative death.

The plain-spoken Nebraskan sees his role in the Senate as one of a mediator trying to bridge partisan divides. But in private conversations, labor leaders are more likely to view him as a hurdle.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2009 7:48 AM
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